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Bridge detours continue on I-75

Work on the new elevated roadway between Tampa and Brandon will disrupt traffic until Monday morning.

By JAY CRIDLIN
Published May 14, 2004

BRANDON - Construction on part of the Lee Roy Selmon Crosstown Expressway that has disrupted traffic on Interstate 75 is expected to last until Monday morning, an expressway spokeswoman said Thursday.

Yellow girders hanging from the overpass of the Crosstown's forthcoming elevated portion in Brandon has forced nighttime detours from southbound I-75 since Wednesday.

Since May 4, signs hanging from the overpass have stated that no vehicles taller than 14 feet may pass under the girders.

Plans are to remove the girders Sunday night, said Tampa-Hillsborough Expressway Authority spokeswoman PerryDawn Brown.

In the meantime, the existing detour and delay schedule will continue.

Between 10:30 p.m. and 5:30 a.m., all traffic exiting southbound I-75 onto U.S. 301 and entering southbound I-75 from State Road 60 will have to detour onto the Crosstown.

Semitrailer trucks will not be allowed to exit southbound I-75 for U.S. 301 or enter southbound I-75 from State Road 60.

To circumnavigate construction, all traffic may enter southbound I-75 by driving south on U.S. 301 from Adamo Drive or the Crosstown.

A slew of off-duty police officers, including 25 to 30 sheriff's deputies, were hired by the road contractor to monitor the area in case a semitrailer truck drove too far on I-75.

Police cruisers, lights flashing, have been on the scene at all times.

Though most semis are less than 14 feet high, Brown said police are still ticketing those who fail to take the detour.

"There was an issue of trucks not heeding the signs," Brown said. "They all got the clue, and they've been telling their other trucker buddies that they just can't go underneath."

The construction also coincided with the second part of the Florida Highway Patrol's "Operation Safe Ride" enforcement wave, which began Wednesday night and will wrap up at midnight. Trooper Larry Coggins, an FHP spokesman, said many patrol cruisers already on the scene to track speeders were keeping an eye out for truck traffic.

- Jay Cridlin can be reached at 813 661-2442 or cridlin@sptimes.com

[Last modified May 14, 2004, 01:00:14]


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